Native Grassland

Minimizing Surface Disturbance

To achieve air, water, land and biodiversity conditions that support healthy ecosystems, it is critical to manage the cumulative effects of human development on the environment. Stewardship requires a collaborative effort by everyone to achieve the sustainable outcomes that Albertans and the global communities expect. Policy direction is assured by ministry education, outreach, authorizations and compliance programs, and reporting environmental conditions and trends.

Industry, communities and citizens also play an important role in environmental stewardship by voluntarily undertaking best management practices and complying with regulatory requirements. Their actions to minimize land disturbances, manage at-risk landscapes and invasive species are critical to achieve desired outcomes.

Policy and Supporting Publications

Land uses affect the ecological integrity of the grassland environments and, if not managed properly, may lead to the loss of native grassland landscapes. Historical and current policy for protecting native grasslands has been built on principles for minimizing surface disturbed as outlined in the 3 fold strategy below.

  1. Avoidance of native grasslands where possible, especially in critical ecological sites identified as extremely difficult to reclaim.
  2. Reducing area and impacts of industrial disturbance to the extent possible, and
  3. Developing practical methods that will allow eventual restoration of disturbed areas.

Each of the policies below plays a role in enabling the above strategy through education, awareness and/or regulatory requirements:

Related Information

For a listing of resources and tools for these policy principles and guidelines, see:


Page Information

Updated: Sep 21, 2018